Conserving Local Culture
Tanoto Foundation with Ade Suarsa (front, left) and children of Edas Center.
The spirit of lifelong learning is implemented through formal as well as informal education. This is actually what Ade Suarsa has been doing over the years.
Ade Suarsa started a small cultural center Sanggar Seni Etnika Daya Sunda (Edas) in 2008 in his house in Bogor, West Java, because he wanted to do something meaningful to his community. Taking place in this Center, children are able participate in different cultural activities such as learning how to dance and sing traditionally as well as play different types of traditional musical instruments. In addition to carrying out these activities at the Edas Center, Ade and his friends also visit schools around Bogor to introduce the local culture. As a teacher, he knows first hand that most of the young people prefer to be involved with their latest gadgets than taking part in different forms of traditional culture.
Further, having a father who is also a puppeteer has enabled Ade to be a puppeteer himself. However, instead of using wood or buffalo skin to make the puppets, he uses bamboo. He also does not use the epic stories of Ramayana or Mahabaratha as sources of his stories. Instead, Ade uses stories from daily lives to encourage community members to embrace life positive values of life.
Ade also encourages his neighbors and other local community members to help to make the bamboo puppets, traditional musical instruments, and show equipments. This way, the members of the community are also able to earn additional income.
Tanoto Foundation, together with Andy Noya and his Kick Andy on Location program visited the Cultural Center recently. This visit highlighted the similarity between the belief of Edas Center and Tanoto Foundation that support learning process not only in classrooms, but also outside classrooms, as well as life long learning. Tanoto Foundation also used the opportunity to convey the appreciation for Ade’s effort in conserving the local culture. The Center will use the support for different activities such as Center’s renovation and buying of materials to make different traditional instruments.